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Parents cheesed off with school packed-lunch guidelines

28 January 2009 by
Parents cheesed off with school packed-lunch guidelines

The majority of parents believe the Government shouldn't dictate what goes into their children's school lunchboxes, research revealed today.

In a survey of 532 parents, by research firm Mintel, nearly two-thirds (64%) opposed the growing pressure on schools to tell parents what they're allowed to put in packed lunches.

Emmanuelle Bouvier, senior consumer analyst at Mintel, said many parents felt insulted by the assumption they didn't know how to put together a healthy lunch.

However, Bouvier said that the publicity around packed lunches and the healthy eating message it promotes, did appear to have had a positive effect.

Whereas just two-thirds (66%) of parents said that they tried to give their children a mix of healthy food and treats in 2006 before the guidance was issued, that figure has now risen to 86%.

Last year, the School Food Trust published guidance on packed lunches, which it has been encouraging schools in England to adopt as part of their school policy.

However, unlike school dinners where the introduction of healthier meals has been made law, packed lunch rules remain voluntary much to the frustration of many school dinner caterers who have been battling falling meal uptake.

- For more on the subject see our school meals landing page>>

Government publishes guidelines on school drinks>>

Scotland to offer free dinners at primary schools from 2010>>

School dinner uptake at England secondary schools drops>>

Healthier school meals jeopardised by junk food ‘black market'>>

By Chris Druce

E-mail your comments to Chris Druce here.

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